Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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A grilled cheese sandwich is such a nostalgic dish that is sure to bring a flood of childhood memories.  It was comfort food for me as a child on those cold days with a bowl of soup. Now that I’m an adult, I wanted to elevate this dish by using better quality cheeses and maybe something extra.  And boy did it turn out good!!  I made a plain grilled cheese sandwich and one with homemade pesto and some prosciutto.  Yum!

How to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich

Grilled Cheese Sandwich ingredientsGrilled cheese sandwiches are greasy, cheesy and crunchy.  You need those three elements to have a successful dish.  And let me tell you, my 2 recipes delivered!  Made a version my kids would enjoy with cheese alone and one that is my absolute favorite with the addition of the pesto and prosciutto.

Shredded Cheese MixThere is no grilled cheese sandwich without the cheese.  For this recipe, I used 4 different cheese types: Gouda, Gruyere, Fontina and Cheddar. These are all natural and sharper cheeses than the traditional processed Kraft singles, and have great melting properties that will create that gooey stretch. For freshness, I purchased blocks of each and shredded into a bowl mixing them all together.

Butter Spread

Next, you need butter and a lot of it!  For recipes where butter is a key ingredient, I like to use Kerrygold.  This grass fed, salted butter is a little pricy but you can really tell the difference in quality and taste.  Get the butter to room temperature, sprinkle a little bit of shredded cheese and mix it together into a spread.

Buttery bread

For the bread, I went with a rustic sourdough loaf instead of the traditional squared white bread.  Spread the butter on the outside of 2 slices.  This will create that crunch, buttery crust.

How to make homemade Pesto:

Homemade Pesto ingredients

In a blender, add fresh basil with stems removed, pine nuts, olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic some grated parmesan.  Blend the ingredients together until the pesto and pine nuts are finely minced.

Let’s get the griddle going.

Pre-heat your griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees.

Grilled cheese on griddle

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Cheese only version:

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Place 1 bread slice butter facing down first.  Next, apply a VERY generous amount of the shredded mixed cheeses and cover on top with another slice, butter facing up. Close the lid to let the heat melt the cheese evenly. Let this cook for about 2 minutes after which you will see the bottom of the bread touching the griddle surface turn a nice golden brown.  Flip the sandwich to the other side and let it cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Cheese, Pesto and Prosciutto version:

Grilled Cheese with pesto and prosciutto

Before placing the slice of bread on the griddle, spread a layer of the homemade pesto on the none buttery side. Next, place the slice on the grill butter facing down first. Apply a few slices of prosciutto and a VERY generous amount of the shredded mixed cheeses and cover on top with another slice, butter facing up. Close the lid to let the heat melt the cheese evenly. Let this cook for about 2 minutes after which you will see the bottom of the bread touching the griddle surface turn a nice golden brown.  Flip the sandwich to the other side and let it cook for another 1-2 minutes.

While both grilled cheese sandwiches were delicious, my favorite was the version with the homemade pesto and prosciutto.  The basil breaks up the fattiness of the cheese, while the prosciutto brings in a salty element that brings this dish together.  It’s an explosion of amazing flavors that I bet you will not regret! Enjoy!

Printer friendly recipe below:

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Servings 4 People

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Rustic sourdough bread
  • 1 stick Salted butter
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Gouda
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Gruyere
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Fontina
  • 1/2 cup Shredded sharp Cheddar
  • 4 oz Prosciutto

Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 cup Basil
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Pine nuts

Instructions
 

  • Shred blocks of cheddar, gouda, gruyere and fontina 1/2 cup each into a bowl mixing them all together.
  • Get the butter to room temperature, sprinkle a little bit of shredded cheese and mix it together into a spread.
  • For the pesto: in a blender, add fresh basil with stems removed, pine nuts, olive oil, cloves garlic and some grated parmesan.  Blend the ingredients together until the pesto and pine nuts are minced finely.
  • Pre-heat the griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees.

Cheese Only Version:

  • Place 1 bread slice butter facing down first.  Next, apply a VERY generous amount of the shredded mixed cheeses and cover on top with another slice, butter facing up.
  • Close the lid to let the heat melt the cheese evenly. Let this cook for about 2 minutes after which you will see the bottom of the bread touching the griddle surface turn a nice golden brown. 
  • Flip the sandwich to the other side and let it cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Pesto and Prosciutto version:

  • Start with spreading a layer of the homemade pesto on the none buttery side.
  • Place the bread slice on the grill butter facing down first. Next, apply a few slices of prosciutto and a VERY generous amount of the shredded mixed cheeses and cover on top with another slice, butter facing up.
  • Close the lid to let the heat melt the cheese evenly. Let this cook for about 2 minutes after which you will see the bottom of the bread touching the griddle surface turn a nice golden brown. 
  • Flip the sandwich to the other side and let it cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Check out the Recipes Page for other tasty ideas!